Interview: Tye Dillinger comments on the origins of the "Perfect 10" gimmick, fans getting him into the Royal Rumble, and more
We had a chance to talk to "The Perfect 10" on the road to WrestleMania weekend.
Tye Dillinger has one thing on his mind now: SAni†Y. The current NXT storyline looks to be leading up to Dillinger, Roderick Strong, and No Way Jose combating the group that has been terrorising them for a while.
Dillinger is one of the beloved fan favourites in the NXT Universe across the world, and the impact of his “Perfect 10” character has found its way onto the main roster with “ten” chants.
There is no doubt that Dillinger’s popularity has been rising, and on a conference call promoting NXT TakeOver: Orlando, we got the chance to talk to The Perfect 10 himself!
Sportskeeda: What inspired your Perfect 10 gimmick?
Dillinger: It kind of came out of nowhere. It came out of a conversation I was having with a friend of the time, and the Perfect 10 character was born out of a lack of confidence, believe it or not.
There was a time in my career that I wasn't exactly as confident in my abilities as I am today, and it took a very good friend to sit me down and say "Look, you've put in the time in the time in this industry, you've put in thousands of hours, the years, countless months, you need to kind of go out there and show the world what you can do.”
You have guys who call themselves "The Great One", "The Greatest Of All Time", "The Architect", "The Phenomenal One". You have all these different monikers within WWE explaining those different characters, well now you can add one more to the list - and that's "The Perfect 10"
Sportskeeda: What are your thoughts on the "Ten" chants rapidly growing on the main shows before you’ve even been called up? Do you hope to see it become something big in the future, such as the "Yes!" or “What” chants?
Dillinger: It's still pretty surreal to me. I was part of those "Yes!" chants and "What” chants at one point in my career. I used to get a kick out of joining the mass audience and doing it as well. To see the “Ten” chants that have taken a similar form kind of blows my mind a little bit.
But that's the beautiful part about the WWE Universe, they get to do what they want. They pay their hard earned money to cheer, to boo, to chant, to do whatever they want at those live events or tapings.
If they are chanting "Ten", that's just fine by me. If it gets to the level of "What", or "Yes!", we're talking Stone Cold Steve Austin and Daniel Bryan. That's some pretty good company to be in, so it wouldn't be a bad thing for me at all.
Sportskeeda: Leading up to the Royal Rumble, there was a lot of buzz with fans wanting you to enter the Royal Rumble at #10. It went to the point that anyone else who would have entered at #10 would have gotten booed out of the building. When did you hear about all this buzz online about wanting you to enter at #10 and what did you think of it?
Dillinger: That's the cool thing. A month and a half or two months prior to the Royal Rumble, I started seeing and hearing, no pun intended, rumbling on social media about the possibility of Tye Dillinger entering at #10.
I thought it was pretty cool, I thought it was pretty funny. I never thought that it would blow to the point that it did.
The audience voicing their opinions and thoughts, I actually owe it to them. I'm pretty sure that they're a huge reason for me showing up at #10 at the Royal Rumble. Again, that's just the power of the WWE Universe, and that's a beautiful thing.
When that many people get behind a concept and idea, the opportunities are endless. So to anybody who voiced your opinion on social media, voiced your opinion to WWE, thank you, I heard you loud and clear, I appreciate it, and I hope I did you justice at the Royal Rumble.
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